Morris Bridge Bicycle Area to close intermittently

News Release

*District to begin habitat improvement activities*

The Morris Bridge Bicycle Area's off-road trails and parking lot will be closed intermittently from mid-December through mid-January, except for weekends and holidays.

The Morris Bridge Bicycle Area is part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve, located just south of Morris Bridge Road and just east of I-75 near Temple Terrace. The property is managed by the District in cooperation with the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department.

The District will be conducting habitat improvement activities for the state-listed gopher tortoise. These activities include reducing canopy cover in overgrown areas near existing concentrations of gopher tortoise burrows. A recent study by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory showed that 38 percent of the burrows in the area are occupied. Reducing tree canopy cover will enhance habitat by providing more open areas for foraging and nesting. The goal of the improvement activities is for the tortoise population to expand into the newly restored habitat over time.

For safety reasons, the area will be closed during periods when heavy equipment is being used for vegetation management.

For more information, please contact the District's Land Resources Department at (352) 796-7211, ext. 4461.